96 GMC Diesel Smokes

We are looking at a 96 GMC 6.5l turbo diesel that has a knock and smokes bad... someone said possibly turbo any other ideas ??? They said the bad turbo allows oil to be sucked into the motor causing the detonation (knock
sound) and the oil smoke... is this possible ? They have a video of it starting and running at http://members.aol.com/bugzturbo5/pics/3500-Video.mov To me it's more of a knock than detonation... I thought it sounded more solid of a knock. (rod or piston slap) I know rod usually only makes noise on the unload period, this is more during a load, (while feeding into). Any help would be appreciated...
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wrote:

A diesel CAN even suck the oil out of its own crankcase and burn it up as fuel until the engine dies. This is more common than you might think.
- Regards Gordie
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wrote:

Your simptons match a bad injector pump or one that it out of time. Timing is extremely critical as it can knock and run badly and smoke it set wrong or it is worn out. The injection pump is the heart of a 6.5, without its proper function you will have one that runs poorly or not at all. ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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Greetings,
Based on the year and average mileage for this motor you should check the following:
Fuel injection pump - stretched timing chain (not uncommon) or improperly timed/calibrated if it has been recently worked on or replaced. The pump could also be bad with a bad fuel solenoid driver (FSD) and/or a fried optical sensor, but this would more than likely give you a no-start or stalling condition, espeically when hot.
Fuel injectors - worn or damaged, or replaced with higher flow marine grade injectors without proper additional modifications (dumping too much fuel into the cylinders).
If this truck is a 1500 series (half ton) it will have an EGR valve which may also be on the fritz, have an internal leak or bad gaskets. A bad valve or control solenoid could be cooling the combustion event by too much causing a certain amount of fuel to go unburned (a cause of black smoke).
A bad turbo could also cause similar issues, especially if the bearings are shot and it is leaking oil into the intake manifold. The turbo dump valve could be jammed shut which may cause smoking, but I don't think it would cause a knock. Open up the plumbing between the turbo and the intake manifold to see if it's full of oil from the turbo and check to see that you can move the dump valve by hand with the vacuum tubing disconnected from the actuator solenoid.
The other issue it may have could also be burn-through of the head gasket around the rear-most cylinders, an issue for pre '98 motors used for lots of hauling and towing from excessive heat. This may cause smoke but likely not black smoke. Check to see what the oil looks like.
Any way you cut this isn't going to be a cheap problem to fix. Heck, a fuel injection pump alone could run you around $1800.00. If you believe there are multiple issues (especially if you don't have a good idea what they are yet) then my personal opinion is that unless you really, really, really love this truck and are willing to put in what potentially could be a lot of time and money then I would pass it by and look for something in better condition. I am a fan of Chevy/GMC diesels, but unless you know exactly what you are getting into then you could end up sinking more money into this truck that you paid for it to begin with.
Good luck - Jonathan

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On Mon, 01 May 2006 05:42:21 GMT, "Jonathan"

In this case a streched timing chain would retard pump timing and may cause it to smoke and lack power but not knock a lot so I do not see this as a issue here. ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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wrote:

...unless there is more than one issue with this motor. There is no guarantee that both the smoking and the engine knock are from the same cause.
- Jonathan
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On Mon, 01 May 2006 18:50:36 GMT, "Jonathan"

I do not doubt for a minute that they are from the same cause, the injection pump timing chain in this case. ----------------- The SnoMan www.thesnoman.com
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I took the time today to download and watch the video the original poster listed (I tried earlier and it wouldn't). The hard starting and bad idle just scream injection pump, but not knowing anything about the pump (original vs. replacement, etc.) I can't say for sure if it's just from excessive wear on the original or a bad installation and calibration on a rebuilt unit. The smoke is black on start up but the video quality isn't good enough to see if it remains fully black as it runs or turns white or gray. Just as a precaution I would do a leak down and compression test on the cylinders (especially the rear ones where gasket problems are a known issue) but I'm still leaning towards the FI pump. The engine knock is terrible - again the FI pump timing, either from wear on the timing set or a bad install. I've never seen one of those chains jump a tooth on their own, but I have seen folks screw up the timing by not having it calibrated after reinstalling the pump or installing a new one thinking it wasn't needed.
Cheers - Jonathan
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I pretty much bailed on buying it... you had a few god points with sinking too much money into it. I think I'll keep my eye open for one in better running condition. I am a mechanic and have many years in the field but I got out of it in the early 90's... for the most part now I mess with my old cars and our equipment. Just rebuilt our Kubota diesel in our New Holland skidsteer... I'll stick to simple diesel stuff like that and my race engines... Thanks for the help you both definitely steered me in the right direction.

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